AFL players living in Melbourne’s coronavirus hotspots will need to urgently relocate to other suburbs if they want to play matches in Sydney.
- Some AFL players and staff have been told to find temporary accommodation by midnight
- They are expected to stay in hotels at the AFL’s expense
- The AFL is finalising changes to its fixturing schedule
With Victoria’s AFL teams on the brink of moving to interstate quarantine hubs because of the state’s fresh COVID-19 threat, some players and staff have been told to find temporary accommodation by midnight Wednesday.
New South Wales health officials have warned residents from suburbs about to re-enter lockdowns could face up to six months in jail or a $11,000 fine if they enter the state.
The move will affect up to seven of Melbourne’s nine AFL clubs.
Players are expected to be put in hotels at the AFL’s expense if they cannot find alternate accommodation.
The AFL is yet to finalise which states and territories the Victorian teams will relocate to as soon as next week.
New South Wales previously had an open-border arrangement, but with Victorian COVID-19 cases spiking health authorities have opted to toughen their stance.
Richmond captain Trent Cotchin said on Tuesday there was a “genuine chance” some players would elect not to enter hubs.
Cotchin said players expecting babies or with young families or other personal issues might choose not to relocate.
“It’s challenging,” he said.
“There’s a range of different things going on in the world, in the AFL world, and we’ll adapt but obviously some teams are adapting a lot quicker and better than we are in different facets.”
West Coast, Fremantle, Adelaide and Port Adelaide were all sent to a temporary base in Queensland for early rounds of the season restart.